Christmas of Swing
Though rampant commercialism makes it tempting to adopt a cynical stance toward the holiday season, the underlying dream of universal goodwill remains profoundly alluring, especially in the midst of perpetual global conflicts. With the U.S. military incrementally disentangling itself from Middle Eastern campaigns that seem to have been initiated eons ago, the timing couldn't be better for the History Theatre to reprise Christmas of Swing. Co-written by Bob Beverage and the History Theatre's creative stalwart Ron Peluso (in collaboration with David Lohman and Jan Puffer), Christmas of Swing recalls Christmas Eve of 1944, a time when U.S. forces, engaged in the fierce battles of WWII, were longing for the simple comforts of home. For those overseas, that often came via the radio, where artists like Minnesota's own Andrews Sisters performed USO shows for recovering soldiers. Christmas of Swing re-imagines one such program using choreographed renditions of 36 songs from the Andrews Sisters' catalog, along with guest appearances from such celebrities as Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Abbott & Costello. The songs and comedy entertain. However, the show's most poignant moments remain the recited excerpts of actual letters from homesick soldiers. Christmas of Swing, which originally premiered in 2005, has lost none of its appeal or relevance, offering Yuletide armistice to a world at war. (Photo by DnK Photography)
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 24. Continues through Dec. 23, 2012
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